CARMI — Cinder blocks have been reinforced with concrete and metal bars after three men broke out of a southern Illinois jail, the White County sheriff said.
A public meeting was packed Tuesday night as Sheriff Doug Maier explained his department's response to the June 16 escape. Two men, including an inmate charged with murder, were on the lam for three weeks before their recent capture. The other man was arrested within a day.
Maier said a 10-foot-tall fence lined with razor wire has been erected outside the jail and hollow cinder blocks have been filled. A new jail administrator was also appointed.
"The biggest concern was that the jail building itself was not built secure enough to prevent this from happening," Maier said.
The inmates broke out in an area hidden by beds and apparently out of sight of guards, WSIL-TV reported. Maier said a guard heard a knock as the inmates broke the wall, but he didn't suspect the noise was related to an escape.
"We've changed the set up in there," he said. "We no longer have two double bunks together. We've got a single bunk and we've changed some other issues that I think will make it where we can view that area now much more clearly."
The inmate awaiting trial for murder, Zachary Shock, was found walking on a rural road in Gallatin County. He was carrying a loaded gun but didn't resist police.